Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard rallied to beat China’s Xiaodi You 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 on Tuesday in her first qualifying match at the Australian Open.
The 25-year-old from Westmount, Que., faced 23 break points throughout the match, saving 17 of them. She broke You seven times on 18 attempts as both players struggled with their serve.
Bouchard needed medical assistance during the match, played in difficult conditions because of smoke haze and poor air quality caused by wildfires.
The Australian Open website reported You, also struggling physically, was serving underarm.
Bouchard, the former world No. 5 who’s now ranked 211th, will face Australia’s Maddison Inglis in the second round of qualifying for the first Grand Slam of the season.
The 21-year-old Inglis is ranked No. 130.
Bouchard is coming off a quarter-final loss last week at the ASB Classic in New Zealand.
Canadians Leylah Annie Fernandez, Steven Diez, Peter Polansky and Brayden Schnur all play first-round qualifying matches on Wednesday.